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Si贸fok, Lake Balaton – The local pub and the party promenade

Trees in Hungarian national colors in Si贸fok, Pet艖fi s茅t谩ny - Pubtourist

Si贸fok has an award-winner main square, interesting statues and a beautiful Balaton shore, but when its name is mentioned, most of the young people think of its famous party promenade, Pet艖fi s茅t谩ny. I’ve spent three days to experience the difference between the already known party promenade and the real local bars. On the last night I’ve been to both genres.

In the downtown, I’ve found my (so far) personal favorite pub of Si贸fok. It was called the K贸borl贸 Koccint贸 (means something like the “Roamer – clinking place”).

The entrance of Koborl贸 Koccint贸 Si贸fok

It seemed to be the a real melting pot for the bohemians of the town. Classy Hungarian songs were greeting me from the jukebox when I entered, one about Lake Balaton, one about a pub.

Everybody was having a good time, the people were cheerful and loud on the right level, they were chatting, laughing, playing darts or table soccer. From my bar chair I started to pay attention to one interaction above all聽the others. One middle ages guy was singing the song from the jukebox with the younger guests. He said: You know, what I like in you guys? That you are cool! They gave each other聽hi 5! Then this older sat on the chair next to mine and turned to me: – Do you know what I like in you? – he asked. By suddenly getting a new idea of his character, I supposed that he will say, that I am cool, but no, he had more to offer:

– I like that you are a good man!

– I may am but it shouldn’t be revealed yet – I said

– Where are you from – ha asked.

– From Zalaegerszeg – I answered.

He got excited and cried out loud “BROTHER!” to me and kissed me on the cheek. Maybe I was lagging behind in the interpretation, but at this point I didn’t think of the two of us as reconnected twins, separated by birth. The staff seemed to share rather my idea, because he got led out after this. They apologized and told me that this person isn’t a regular here. After this I started to look around.

The place had sort of a western charm, with this boots and cowbell.

The Western Charm of Koborl贸 koccint贸, Si贸fok - Pubtourist

Some of the object is conscious part of the design, others are gifts from guests. My three favorites:

  1. This wall painting, representing the wanderlust of the pub owner. Unfortunately, I didn’t meet him. Rumor has it, he actually did the El Camino.

A wall paiting of El Camino in Koborl贸 Koccint贸, Si贸fok - Pubtourist

2. Chess and Nine Men’s Morris boards on the guest tables. The second game is very rare to find in pubs.

The board game pub tables of Koborl贸 Koccint贸, Si贸fok

3. The bar and the wall has an inner roof making the place look like a western neighborhood.

The bar has a roof in Koborl贸 koccint贸, Si贸fok - Pubtourist

The weakest link is the most common one, the lack of a decent pub food. In the snack category they have a bit wider variety than the unholy trinity of peanuts, chips and ropi (salty sticks). In addition there are pistachio nuts and biscuits to choose as well. In total this pub was the most聽vigorous and relaxed spot from all I’ve been to in Si贸fok already. At the end, somebody rang the bell. It means in Hungary that you pay a round for the whole pub. This was the first occasion on my continuous pub crawl when I actually have taken part in聽such an event.

The next day, when I said goodbye to Si贸fok, I could have a quick look at the daily shift. There were significantly older guests, but decent looking, trustful faces.

Koborl贸 Koccint贸 in daylight, Si贸fok - Pubtourist

This 15 year old pub seemed to be an important gathering point of the Si贸fok local life. Such natural and cozy, as if it wouldn’t be in the busiest party town of Lake Balaton. The guests even had a hard time to forgive me, that I still went further to Pet艖fi promenade聽that night!

After midnight it was the only place left open where I could clink the glasses with myself for聽my birthday, that just started. I have never been there on Sunday. I remember when I saw the promenade聽it for the first time in 2014, I was impressed to have outside Budapest such a huge, vibrate party life in Hungary. I appreciate it though, but personally, it didn’t became my type. On this Sunday night it was quite different as on every Friday or Saturday before.

The Pet艖fi S茅t谩ny of Si贸fok at a Sunday night

Of course, the neon-palm tree wasn’t less strange for me. This time聽really the people on holiday remained, mostly under 25 years. Not even all of them, some may got exhausted after the strong events of the two previous nights. Under this circumstances I had the chance to pay attention to the details. I was looking intentionally for all the Hungarian or Balaton referring elements.

Trees in Hungarian national colors in Si贸fok, Pet艖fi s茅t谩ny - Pubtourist

A logo represeting hake fish, popular sea fish type in Lake Balaton

The Lake Balaton label in Si贸fok, Pet艖fi s茅t谩ny - Pubtourist

First, I sat on the terrace of “Boh茅m” (=Bohemian, 405. stop, 8. Si贸fok stop). It was the聽most sympathetic place for the first sight, and not only because of the our similar logos.

The Bohem caf茅 and restaurant in Si贸fok, Pet艖fi s茅t谩ny - Pubtourist


Going further, I really liked that the attended beaches were free to enter for the night. My next stop was the Bulihaj贸 (=Party ship), which is a likable idea and institute.

The party ship in Si贸fok, Pet艖fi s茅t谩ny - Pubtourist

The party was the greatest and the party people the youngest here that night. I saw good vibrations. They were partiing civilized and relaxed at the same time, in big unity, and for my surprise, they all knew by heart the lyrics of songs of the 90’s.

The third and final spot was a Dutch pub & Cocktail bar, call Aqua with windmills on the wall.

The Aqua pub and cocktail bar in Si贸fok, Pet艖fi s茅t谩ny - Pubtourist

Windmills on the wall in Aqua Pub, Si贸fok, Pet艖fi s茅t谩ny - Pubtourist

I actually met here dutch people.聽They didn’t knew before entering, where they will arrive, they were just randomly invited by the hostesses. They didn’t serve聽fr枚ccs (sprtizer), so I asked for a small Dreher (one of the basic Hungarian beer) and I had to pay the double as in the downtown. The Dutch young guys still found this place very cheap comparing to the price in their home, where they can afford liquors buying in the store and drink from the bottle, but here they can buys shots with whole trays after each other. I talked to them. They thought that besides Budapest, Lake Balaton is a really cool place, but they would like to see instead of international symbols more of the local charisma. They said that is a worldwide phenomenon that the party places try to catch the tourists with global trends, instead of really revealing what a region has to show.

With this thought I said good bye to Si贸fok in 2016. To Lake Balaton I still returned two times, to Keszthely and Balatonvil谩gos as Pubtourist. But those stories are yet to come…

Previous posts in Si贸fok聽series:

1-聽Si贸fok backstage – The Daily Pub Life of Hungary’s Summer Capital

2 -Si贸fok backstage #2 – The Daily Pub Life of Hungary’s Summer Capital – L贸g贸 脺veg and H枚rpincs

3 – Si贸fok – a collection of pub genres








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Name: A Kocsmaturista

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